CLASS OF 1990
HOWARD "DOC" AYERS
Howard Edward "Doc" Ayers was born in Toccoa, and was the son of a small-town general practitioner, which is how he claimed the nickname “Doc.” Ayers was a multi-sport star at Toccoa High School and concentrated on football as he moved to Darlington in Rome where he was All-Mid-South Prep as a halfback in 1940-41. He attended UGA where he played football until a knee injury ended his career. Doc began his coaching career at a small school in Lavonia, Georgia. After one year at Winder, it was on to Cedartown where he was voted Coach of the Year in 1956. In 1963, they won the AA State Championship. The star of his team was Edgar Chandler. Edgar signed with Georgia after graduation, and Doc followed his prized lineman to Athens, the first coach that Vince Dooley hired when he went to UGA. He was head freshman coach, head recruiter, and worked with the offense on the varsity team. He was named administrative assistant to the head coach. He recruited several All American players to Georgia and many All South Eastern Conference players during his 18 years in Athens.
James Furman Bisher was born in Denton, North Carolina. His father was at one time the town’s mayor. Bisher earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and began editing the sports page of the Lumberton (N.C.) paper, his first stop in a remarkable seventy-year career. In 1950 Furman left the Charlotte News and joined The Atlanta Journal where he would remain for almost 60 years. In addition to his duties for the hometown teams, Bisher covered 62 Masters Tournaments, more than 50 Kentucky Derbys, World Series and Georgia-Georgia Tech football games. He retired in 2009 at 90 years old. The building of Atlanta Stadium, which opened in 1965, and the relocation there of the Braves baseball team (from Milwaukee) is chronicled in Bisher’s book Miracle in Atlanta. Furman received numerous awards over his career, including the Red Smith Award for sports journalism and the William D. Richardson Award from the Golf Writers Association of America.
Born Melvin Cornell (Mel) Blount was baseball, football, basketball, and track standout at Lyons High School near Vidalia. He was offered a scholarship to Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Even though Southern was not as well-known as bigger SEC and ACC schools, Blount was recognized as a Pro-Scouts All-American pick as both safety and cornerback. Mel was a third-round draft choice of the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1970, and almost immediately he made his presence felt in the NFL. Blount became a starter in the Steelers secondary beginning in 1972. He would play 14 NFL seasons intercepting at least one pass each season. He led the league in interceptions with 11 in 1975 when he was named the NFL's most valuable defensive player by the Associated Press. He also earned All-Pro honors in 1975, 1976, 1977 and 1981. He also was a four-time All-AFC selection and played in five Pro Bowls. In Super Bowl XIII, Blount's interception ignited a Pittsburgh drive that resulted in a go-ahead touchdown in a 35-31 victory over the Dallas Cowboys. Following his football career, Blount became Director of Player Relations for the NFL, serving in the position from 1983 to 1990.
Samuel Morris “Pete” Brown an offensive tackle, defensive tackle, and linebacker earning All-State recognition in Rossville in both football and basketball. Brown signed with Georgia Tech to play both fullback and linebacker. He played linebacker his first season with the Jackets in 1950 as the team posted a 5-6 record. Then in 1951, Pete shifted to center. Brown crossed up defenses by exploding from his position to become one of the best downfield blockers in the game. An All-America center, Brown was a stalwart on both the 1951 and 1952 teams. The Jackets pulled off the amazing feat of going 23-0-1 those two seasons including a perfect 12-0 record and a National Championship. Tech closed their 12-0 season with a 24-7 Sugar Bowl victory over Mississippi under the legendary Coach Bobby Dodd. Brown was drafted in the tenth round of the 1953 NFL Draft by the San Francisco 49ers and played professionally for two seasons as an offensive guard and punter. He became an Air Force pilot in the Korean War. He later retired from the Air Force Reserve with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.
LAMAR "RACEHORSE" DAVIS
Raymond Lamar “Racehorse” Davis was born in Brunswick and attended Glynn Academy where he was a standout multi-sport athlete. Davis enrolled at the University of Georgia to play basketball, but ended up joining the football team for Coach Wally Butts. Lamar played wide receiver and wingback from 1940-1942. He is widely known for catching a 65-yard yard TD pass from Frank Sinkwich to beat Auburn 7-0 in 1941 as the final horn went off while the ball was in the air. A three-year letterman, Davis was third team All-SEC in 1942 when the Dogs claimed the National Championship. Davis was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles in the second round with the 12th overall pick of the 1943 NFL Draft before they merged with the Pittsburgh Steelers. “Racehorse” was a two-way player in the professional ranks. He spent one season with Miami and 3 years with the Baltimore Colts starting a total of 28 games.
William "Bo" Johnston was raised in Screven County and attended Savannah High School where he helped lead the basketball team to three straight GIAA State Titles in 1930, ’31, and ’32. Johnston moved on to Georgia Tech and became a three-year letterman for Coach Roy Mundorff. Bo helped Georgia Tech post an unbeaten 10-0 SEC record in 1936-37 season. Then the Jackets bested that with a 12-2 SEC mark and the conference championship in 1938 when Johnston served as team captain. Johnston played semi-pro ball for the Atlanta Crackers team that played the traveling New York Celtics in 1940 and Bo’s team beat that championship Celtics squad 44-40. Johnston was inducted into the Georgia Tech Hall of Fame in 1958.
Atlanta’s Stephen K. (Steve) Lundquist burst onto the national swimming scene at the 1979 Pan American Games. The 18-year-old won a gold medal in both the 100 & 200 breaststroke as well as the 4×100 medley relay before heading off to college at Southern Methodist University. As a Mustang, Lundquist won all four NCAA titles in the 100 breaststroke from 1980-1983, becoming the first man to win the event four times. In his senior year, Lundquist crushed the field winning by a whopping 1.61 seconds. In the 200, Lundquist won two titles in 1981 and 1982, and also swam the breaststroke leg on the winning 400 medley relay as a senior in 1983. Lundquist was the first swimmer to break two minutes in the 200-yard breaststroke, and won every 100-yard breaststroke event he entered from 1980 to 1983. In 1980, the Moscow Olympic boycott meant Lundquist could not participate, but at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, Steve won gold medals in the 100-meter breaststroke and the 400-meter medley relay. Lundquist was named World Swimmer of the Year in 1982 and was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 1990.
Henry Wagnon from Bostwick became a two-sport star at the University of Georgia from 1933-1936. He was a three-year football letterman and won two letters as a baseball catcher. In 1936 Henry was named to the first U.S. Baseball team to compete in the Olympic Games. But when other countries opted not to send teams to Berlin, a group of 22 US Delegates were named by the International Sports Congress to demonstrate the game to the Berlin fans. In the late ‘30’s, Wagnon played semi-pro baseball for several squads including a team from Buford that won the National Semi-Pro Tournament. After his playing days, Henry began a career in coaching. He coached football at Sylvania High School, football and basketball at Gainesville High, Atlanta Commercial High, and Atlanta Boys High School.